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Maintain 'raj dharma': Pradhan urges Patnaik as police detain BJP leaders

Pradhan also said the administration should have the courage to listen to the opposition

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Press Trust of India Sambalpur (Odisha)

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With a high-level BJP delegation being prevented from entering violence-hit Sambalpur, senior party leader and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan Tuesday urged Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to maintain raj dharma and act in a neutral manner.
Pradhan's statement came hours after the Odisha Police detained members of the delegation comprising, among others, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Tribal Affairs Bisheswar Tudu, Sundergarh MP Jual Oram and BJP state president Manmohan Samal.
They were intercepted at Sripura Chhak on Jharsuguda-Sambalpur road and denied permission to move further. Later, they were taken to nearby Thelkoli police station and reportedly detained for seven hours till 7 pm.
Though Tudu left the police station after some time, the other members remained there and were released on the condition that they would not visit Sambalpur, as curfew is in place in the city, officials said.
"The BJP delegation was denied permission to enter the city because they were not abiding by the provisions under Section 144 of CrPC, Sambalpur Additional Superintendent of Police Tapan Kumar Mohanty said.
Reacting to the development, Pradhan said: I doubt if the chief minister is aware about what the police and administration are doing. I know detaining opposition delegation is unbecoming of Patnaik's mode of governance.
I urge Patnaik to maintain raj dharma' and act in a neutral manner, he said.
Pradhan also said the administration should have the courage to listen to the opposition.
Though it has been almost a week since violence erupted in Sambalpur, the government has not been able to restore peace and the curfew continues. The violence took place because of the inefficiency of the administration, the minister alleged.
Tudu said he will raise the issue with the central government.
Meanwhile, the BJP on Tuesday said it will support the 12-hour strike call given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to protest against the state government's anti-Hindu attitude during the Sambalpur violence.
In a statement, the Odisha BJP said the VHP and other organisations will observe a 12-hour hartal' in 14 districts, including Sambalpur, Deogarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sundergarh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Boudh and Kalahandi.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 7:46 AM IST

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